a fairy tale country

Imagine a fairy tale country that has a government based on freedom, democracy and basic human rights for all. Now, imagine that to prepare that country’s children for the rights and responsibilities of living in and contributing to the free, democratic society, the government institutes a strange practice: Beginning at the age of five, children in the country are confined for 13 years as hostages to a totalitarian institution run as a dictatorship. In that institution, children’s movement and bodily functions are controlled and regimented. Children cannot get out of seats or out of rooms without permission. Calls to parents are forbidden except in emergencies. Children have no right to question the validity of the curriculum, no right to critical thinking in deviance to the teacher’s agenda, no right to dispute or influence procedures for maintaining order and guidance. Children have no right to a curriculum based on independent study, or to have honored their own learning styles and educational needs and goals. The children can only go out and get exercise for 10-20 minutes once or twice per day, but that stops totally around the age of 10. Children are taught that the democracy exists, but are not allowed to take part in it. At the age of 18, children in that country are released. They are expected to be ready to function in society, advanced education and careers as self-motivating, free-thinking, innovative and assertive individuals.

--Laurie A. Couture,
Detrimental Schooling: How Traditional Education Harms Children & Society